Shell Intilaaqah, Oman’s social investment arm of Shell LiveWire International, has partnered with the National Careers Guidance Centre of the Ministry of Education to support the Centre’s student programme “Hirfati” that trains aspiring Omani ceramicists and potters to reach their full artistic and career potential.
The programme was successfully concluded in collaboration with the Public Authority for Craft Industries and the Directorate General of Education Al Dakhiliya Governorate. The training sessions were hosted by the Training and Production Center for Pottery and Ceramics, in Bahla with participation of 9th, 10th and 11th grade students from across the Governorate. A dedicated ceremony was held to recognize the standout artists under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Hilal Al Sa’adi, Governor of Al Dakhiliya.
Najwa Al Kindi, Director of Shell Intilaaqah Oman, said, “Shell Intilaaqah is committed to empowering Omani talent to create pathways for entrepreneurship within the business community across the Sultanate. ‘Hirfati’ is a theoretical and hands-on training programme that is geared to teach these aspiring artists new skillsets in arts and crafts and ultimately, use their gained knowledge to start, manage, and grow their own business. We are always keen to partner with organizations and initiatives that support creative people put their talents to the test and embark on an entrepreneurial endeavor.”
The ‘Hirfati’ programme aimed to introduce participants to all aspects of making, firing, glazing and decorating of pottery and ceramics and to gain confidence in their creative output and creations. The programme included two components, theoretical and practical training. Sessions were conducted and supervised by accredited experts that introduced students to the ins-and-outs of ceramics and pottery, the deeply rooted connection of this industry with Oman’s rich heritage, and the key aspects to consider starting a successful business in this field. Key aspects covered in the programme included the latest techniques in arts and crafts, creative output in design, marketing as well as budget planning and promotion-related skillsets.
Al Kindi, added, “This programme has brought a meaningful impact to communities in Al Dakhiliya Governorate, and we are excited to help implement it in other areas across Oman. We want these artists to be the business leaders of tomorrow, redefining not only Omani arts and crafts but infusing new life and originality in the local market.”
Shell Intilaqah’s support to the ‘Hirfati’ programme is in line with its mandate to empower Omani entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the tools to succeed in their career aspirations. While Shell Intilaaqah usually targets talent between the age of 20 and 55 years old, this collaboration is geared towards starting with entrepreneurs at a younger age to help them shape up their ideas and creations into implementable businesses that can sustainably develop and grow.